The outer shell of a chicken egg is too good to be thrown in the trash. The outer part of the shell is saturated with calcium, the inner part is covered with proteins and fiber, the material is strong and durable, but how can you use it with the greatest impact? New research paves the way for cheap and environmentally friendly shell-based batteries.
The shells from ordinary eggs are washed, dried and crushed until smooth. A plate is formed from it, which will become the cathode of the future battery, while a plate of metallic lithium will act as the anode. It remains to add non-aqueous electrolyte and the battery is ready. In tests, this design showed an excellent result - after 100 charge-discharge cycles, the system retained 92% of its original energy storage potential.
The whole point, as some researchers believe, is the ability of calcium carbonate in the shell to attract and retain lithium particles. Because of this, the battery breaks down more slowly, retains not only the structure, but also the original volume of the substance in the electrodes. An extremely important indicator in the light of the search for solutions for the modernization of lithium-ion systems for which electrode wear is an Achilles heel.
Most of all, the researchers were surprised how easy it was to find a substance that can replace complex and expensive polymers to manufacture. Even if eggshells have such properties, then we need to look around more often and look for alternative uses for the garbage we create. And then we will be able to make batteries from some waste, and burn others and generate energy to fill them.